Program Feature: Eight Books Young Children Should Not Live Without

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Parents often wonder if they are making the most of time spent with their children. One of the best ways a parent can spend time with their child is by reading aloud to or with them. However, with so many books on the market, we are hard-pressed to find quality children’s literature amidst the multitude of options.

As parents and teachers, our responsibility is to open a child’s world to a variety of genres’ of quality literature. An increased variety of texts expands children’s view of the world by fostering their imagination, developing critical thinking skills and improving social and emotional skills.

Exposing children to an assortment of books early on “helps them develop a broad perspective on the world around them” (Huffington Post, Canada, 2013). Reading the fantasy books about princesses like “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch  and fairy tales like “Cinderella” is just as important as reading informational texts about “real world” royalty around the world. The more book variety children are exposed to the more their vocabulary will improve, their must-read book list will grow and basic critical thinking skills will be deepened.

“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud—it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony” (Fox, 2001). Join mentor teachers from School Literacy and Culture on Wednesday, September 14 to explore eight genres of quality children’s literature and discuss ways to create the spark for literature in children Mem Fox refers to using books at home with toddlers to first graders.

Learn more and register on our website: http://literacy.rice.edu/workshops-rice

Authored by Sharon Dworaczyk, Rice University School Literacy and Culture

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